We’re all busy raising our kids; responsibilities include entertaining, educating, and guiding. Likely they have a phone and you’ve allowed the phone (who I refer to as the new nanny) to replace many of the roles a parent is responsible for. It’s a new reliable, relatively inexpensive nanny. Am I right?
Does This Hit Home?
If this hits home, you’re not alone but that doesn’t make it okay! It’s a societal issue and one that can be corrected quickly. It’s your responsibility to help your son with homework, have a conversation and answer questions he may have and yes, play and have fun with him! Put some limitations on the nanny (phone) its time you engage with your son, it’s you he needs.
Kids as young as 7 years of age have their own phone, it’s responsible to entertain and occupy them. Commonly the habit starts by playing a movie or listening to music; typically, when Mom and/or Dad need some down time, or a break. This new habit has the potential to spin out of control.
As your son grows and matures, he becomes extremely comfortable and at ease getting all his information from the phone. He learns how to download apps and games; search any topic he chooses. Gone are the days he asks Mom or Dad questions or has a discussion….he can rely on the nanny for the answers. This is precisely why and when communication begins to erode and eventually break down.
My Nanny is so Cool
My nanny can provide information on just about everything, with no boundaries or limits! Think about that. In many cases parents have become complacent and rarely check or place controls on phones. The sad result is too much information; disturbing inappropriate information is being shared.
At The Quest Project, one of the most common complaints a parent shares with me is that “their son won’t talk to them.” It’s a surprise for them when they realize many times, they let the nanny (phone) replace them.
Phones are a status symbol for many families; we all employ it to some degree. What I propose here is to use the nanny part-time, monitor, evaluate and assess; do not let the nanny take your place as the parent.
Hit the Restart
Start/restart by being candid and up front when setting up the rules on limits and monitoring of phone (before giving phone to son!). Now that you’re committed to make changes, follow these suggestions:
- Set time limits on phone
- Monitor downloaded apps
- Use a blocking app for anything deemed inappropriate
- Encourage conversation
- Avoid relying on phone to entertain your child
- Be aware and know who your sons’ friends are (and their parents); are they responsible or irresponsible? A good influence or bad influence?
Time to fire the nanny! It won’t be easy, remember habits are hard to break. But remind yourself, you’re the parent and your son needs you not a phone!
Need more support and information? You can pick up a copy of my book(s) HERE!
And now available The Quest Project Online!